Shopify bans sale of certain firearms, accessories

Shopify bans sale of certain firearms, accessories
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E-commerce giant Shopify has moved to ban certain firearms and parts on its platform, including some semi-automatic weapons and 3D-printed guns.

The Canadian-based company revised its Acceptable Use Policy earlier this week to ban a variety of firearms and gun-related products.

Semi-automatic firearms with magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets, attachments such as bump stocks that can make guns fire more rapidly, firearms without serial numbers and 3D-printed guns are among some of the items that are now considered "restricted."

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“Solely deferring to the law, in this age of political gridlock, is too idealistic and functionally unworkable on the fast-moving internet,” Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke wrote in a blog post this week. “We have found ourselves in a position of having to make our own decisions on some of these issues. And along the way we had to accept that neutrality is not a possibility.”

Some companies have blasted the move by the e-commerce giant, which had been one of the few remaining that allowed the sale of firearms, Bloomberg noted.

One of the companies, Spike’s Tactical, said “the new rules will essentially shut down the sale of guns, gun parts and accessories over the internet by retailers who use Shopify.”

“We have invested more than $100,000 in the development of our Shopify store, which will disappear once these policies go into effect,” Cole Leleux, general manager of Spike’s Tactical, said on Facebook.

“This decision will have significant ramifications to our business and should concern every online retailer and Second Amendment supporter.”

In 2017, activists had also pressured Shopify to cut ties with conservative news site Breitbart and its online store. Lutke had defended the continued business transactions at the time.

“We don’t like Breitbart, but products are speech and we are pro free speech,” he wrote in February 2017. “This means protecting the right of organizations to use our platform even if they are unpopular or if we disagree with their premise, as long as they are within the law."

Lutke argued in his new post Monday that Shopify “had to accept that neutrality is not a possibility” when it comes to who can and cannot use their platform.